Uğur Mumcu (August 22, 1942 – January 24, 1993) was a Turkish Kemalist intellectual, investigative journalist and columnist for the leading liberal broadsheet, Cumhuriyet. He was killed one morning outside his home by a bomb placed in his car on January 24 1993.
Uğur Mumcu was born as the third of four siblings in Kırşehir, where his father was working. He went to school in Ankara and in 1961 attended School of Law at Ankara University. After graduation in 1965, he practiced law for a while. He then visited England to learn English and upon his return to Turkey worked as a teaching assistant at Ankara University from 1969 to 1972.
He started to write in his university years, first in the magazine Yön and then in several other leftist periodicals. Between 1968 and 1970, he wrote articles on politics for the newspapers Akşam, Cumhuriyet and Milliyet.
In 1974, Uğur Mumcu started a career as a columnist, with the periodical Yeni Ortam and from 1975 on, in the broadsheet newspaper Cumhuriyet, which he continued until his death (apart from a few months in 1991 when he was in dispute with the management).
Uğur Mumcu also published books on current and historical political issues of Turkey. He was investigating the Kurdistan Workers' Party at the time of his assassination.
On the morning of January 24, 1993, he left his home and was killed by a C-4 plastic bomb as he started his car. Although his assassination was long thought to have been ordered by Islamists, documents found during the 2008 Ergenekon investigations at General Veli Küçük's house showed that Mumcu was killed while he was investigating how 100,000 firearms, owned by the Turkish Armed Forces, ended up in the hands of Jalal Talabani, one of the Kurdish leaders of northern Iraq and, as of 2008, president of Iraq. 25 days after Mumcu, General Eşref Bitlis, who was investigating on the same issue, died in a plane accident, most likely caused by a sabotage.
PKK/JITEM informant Abdülkadir Aygan alleges that the assassination was carried out by JITEM operatives including Ahmet Cem Ersever, who had a briefcase of about 20kg of C-4, obtained from a Vietnam veteran. Aygan added that he and Aytekin Özen had used some of the C-4 to assassinate the President of the Diyarbakir Bar, Mustafa Özer. The unnamed American soldier had allegedly given the explosives to the Regional Emergency Governorate (Olağanüstü Hal Bölge Valiliği) in 1991 or 1992.
Uğur Mumcu's brother, Ceyhan Mumcu, disputes allegations that Ergenekon was involved, finding the evidence weak. He suspects Israel's involvement since they supported Barzani and Talabani in the Gulf War and their ambassador to Turkey summoned Uğur, the only journalist to write about this, shortly before his death.
Uğur Mumcu is survived by his wife Güldal, and their children Özgür and Özge Mumcu. Güldal Mumcu and her children established the Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation (um:ag, Uğur Mumcu Araştırmacı Gazetecilik Vakfı) in October 1994. Güldal Mumcu is currently a member of Turkish parliament.